Gone are the days when Canadians were seen as courteous, considerate, and cooperative people. No, now we're a bunch of obnoxious, spoiled, and violent folks, thanks to the likes of some of the biggest Canadian names (in addition to jerk-off Canadian tourists) who have been making not only national but international headlines.
With doleful eyes, let us cast a backward glance upon the top Canadian iceholes of 2014 as we track not only the decline but the destruction of the Canadian empire. Like take off, eh?
Chavril, purveyors of Canadian cheese
Claim to shame: Nickelback. Chavril. The Avril LOLOLOLOLavigne atrocity "Hello Kitty" (which Chad Kroeger cowrote) and the video which entailed stereotypes of Asian females as robotic, silent, and subservient to white people (she's not racist—she's just ignorant).
Icehole rating: Four out of five Gowans.
David Booth, hockey player, animal lover
Claim to shame: We’ll say that NHL left-winger David Booth qualifies as an honourary Canadian because of his place of birth (Florida, home to thousands of Canada’s seasonal snowbirds) and the fact that he played with the Vancouver Canucks for three seasons before being put on waivers and bought out earlier this year, ending up with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Regardless, when it comes to being a total icehole, Booth is far from honourary, wearing the full-fledged title proudly during his time here by killing lots of animals whenever he wasn’t busy not scoring goals for the Canucks.
Booth unapologetically posted on social-media platforms pictures of himself holding up or posing next to wildlife he had slaughtered with his trusty bow and arrows, including an elk, a mountain goat, many ducks, and a hungry Alberta black bear that he heroically killed from hiding while hunkered over bait (a practice that is banned in B.C. but legal in Alberta). Perhaps the most distasteful bit of digital braggadocio, however, was the Twitter shot of him holding up what appeared to be two baby racoons skewered on the same arrow. The caption read: “It’s like getting both assists on the game winner. #raccoonkabob.”
After being roundly criticized and garnering media attention from across North America for such actions, the brave Booth attempted to quell the outrage by tweeting a photo of himself “kissing” a tame grizzly bear at an Abbotsford animal trainer’s facility. Epic fail, Nimrod. That dead mouse you held up in another pic had way more heart in his tiny, lifeless body than you ever showed in the rink here. Icehole.
Icehole rating: Eight out of 10 Ted Nugents
Jian Ghomeshi, former Q host, complete ew
Claim to shame: Oh, what else is there to say about Ghomeshi that hasn't already been said? Pretty much nothing, as it quickly overshadowed the Ottawa shooting (and Kevin Vickers's heroic takedown of the gunman) in October. As if inflicting Moxy Früvous upon an unsuspecting Canadian populace wasn't enough, the ever-ambitious Ghomeshi had to go to bigger and better disasters.
The reaction to the Ghomeshi story did spark a far overdue nationwide discussion about violence against women, gender relations, and more. The story also coincided with the resurfacing of rape allegations against Bill Cosby. Ghomeshi's initial attempt to frame this story as an issue about BDSM and the privacy of sexual practices turned into a major backlash against him as more women came forward and celebrities by the dozens abandoned and severed ties with him. Numerous celebrities voiced their opinions about him, including Owen Pallett, George Stromboulopoulos, Margaret Cho, Elvira Kurt, Rex Murphy, Ed the Sock, and others.
While many Americans didn't know who the CBC radio host was, they quickly learned as U.S. (as well as U.K. and even Australian) news outlets began to cover the story.
Icehole rating: Thanks to the age of the Internet, this story went not only viral but became a social-media epidemic. For everything about this, Jian gets 10 out of 10 tongues on a frozen pole.
Luka Magnotta, national abomination
Claim to shame: This one isn't even remotely funny.
On December 23, 32-year-old Magnotta was convicted with an automatic life sentence for the first-degree murder of 33-year-old Chinese engineering student Jun Lin in 2012. Lin's body parts were found in a suitcase outside Magnotta's Montreal apartment and packages sent to the Ottawa headquarters of political parties and two Vancouver schools, and in a Montreal park.
The story gained international attention not just because of a bottomless pit of grisly and lurid details but also because Magnotta was arrested at an internet café in Berlin and because Lin was a Chinese national. An added disturbing element was the fan mail Magnotta received, proving once again the celebrities and sociopaths are pretty much the same thing.
Icehole rating: It's one of the most disturbing Canadian news stories since the likes of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka, Clifford Olson, and Robert Pickton. There's no rating system appropriate for this one.
Doug and Rob Ford, Toronto buffoons, alleged politicians
Claims to shame: Everything they do or say.
While Rob initially rose to international fame in 2013 after a video of him allegedly smoking crack came to light, he began 2014 embroiled in an entirely different scandal after a video of him speaking offensively in a Jamaican accent surfaced.
In March, Rob made his infamously cringe-worthy appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, exposing his bloated buffoonery to our American neighbours, dispelling the myth of the polite Canadian, and sweating so much that Kimmel literally had to dry him off.
During this time, the Toronto Star published a colourful piece about Rob's adventures two days after his Kimmel disaster. Highlights include Rob's prolific use of racial slurs and how he smacked an acquaintance in the face with a bag of hamburgers. It also quotes Rob as saying his wife, "lets me fuck girls in front of her all the time".
Rob returned to work in June. However, after a cancerous tumour was discovered in his abdomen, Rob pulled out of Toronto's mayoral race, passing the baton to older brother Doug (thankfully he lost to John Tory). Meanwhile, Rob was re-elected to his old city council seat. Plus ça change...
If his health is good, Rob has pledged to run for mayor again in 2018 and Doug's been threatening a run with the Conservatives. So we have that to look forward to.
Icehole rating: Ten out of 10 Fords, the standard by which all national embarrassments should henceforth be rated.
Justin Bieber, former teen idol, current abject failure
Claim to shame: He's only released three albums (one of them a Christmas album), which are outnumbered by the number of times he had run-ins with the law.
Since his criminal career is more interesting than his discography, let's talk about his hits of the past year. He started off 2014 promisingly by hitting a neighbouring Californian home with eggs in January. The same month, he was arrested in Miami Beach, Florida, for impaired driving, driving with an expired license, and resisting arrest. In September, he was charged with dangerous driving and assault when he hit a minivan in Stratford, Ontario.
And that's not mentioning ongoing legal issues stemming from previous years.
To cap off his year, he topped the list of celebrities that Americans would least like to be neighbours with, beating out Kim Kard-ass-hian and Kanye West. With exports like these, pretty soon Americans won't want to be neighbours with our country.
And there's also this...
Icehole rating: The pride of Stratford has become the shame of Canada as he proves Canadian former teen idols can be every bit as screwed up as their American counterparts, and perhaps even moreso.
He gets a whopping 15 out of 10 Lindsay Lohans, which is probably one of his greatest accomplishments.
Stephen Harper, prime minister of Harperlandia
Claim to shame: What can we say about our Supreme Icehole, Stephen Harper, sitting in the biggest igloo in Canada, that hasn’t been said before? Not much, but it is always instructive to review the performance so far of our Putinesque dictator in the runup to the federal election this year.
Never mind the almost unheard-of proroguing of Parliament (twice!) for partisan political gain (even former PM Paul Martin did not resort to this in 2005 to save his minority government) or his watering down of environmental laws. Never mind his being found guilty of contempt of Parliament. Never mind his obstinate heel-dragging over international climate-change accords and his refusal to call an inquiry into the national shame of murdered and missing aboriginal women. Never mind his suppression of dissent and obvious distaste for science and scientists, or his lowering of the status of our country in the eyes of the world. Never mind his patent derision for Canadian parliamentary democracy and tradition. Never mind his attempts to foster a cult of personality around his name (it’s the "Harper government", doncha know?), his consolidation of power in the PMO, and his relegation of cabinet to the role of yes men, whipping boys, and sycophants. Never mind his running of TV attack ads against his political rivals more than a year ahead of an election.
It is his use of so-called omnibus bills—like the recently passed C-43, his second budget-implementation bill of 2014—that should really trigger public revulsion for this dead-eyed tinpot tyrant. In an effort to avoid discussion, debate, separate Commons votes, and the cultivation of public opinion, C-43, divided into four parts (one of which had 31 divisions), introduced, changed, extended, or eliminated a vast swath of regulations in about 50 different acts (Harper said “several”) that had very little or nothing at all to do with any budget. MPs who voted had no idea what these measures would cost Canadian taxpayers or even what the ultimate effect might be with some of the changes. The invocation of a time limit put an end to any silly notion of debate or democracy.
Harper said—in 2006, at the beginning of his mandate—“You won’t recognize Canada when I’m through with it.” Well, we already can’t recognize Canada.
And Harper isn’t through with it yet.
Icehole rating: One-hundred dirty pipelines and an endless horde of angry Suzukis.